"New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?"
Hey all, I'm brand new here and this looks like a fun and knowledgeable site! I dislike that my first post here is a with a problem as I was hoping to just dicover/share knowledge and amazing pictures.
So first off, I just recently bought a used nikon d3000 from a fellow local friend/Honda enthusiast. The camera is 6months old and came with everything that would when purchasing new, even have the box! Awesome right? lol
But, unfortunately I'm having an issue with the way my pictures are coming out. I didn't notice it at first and have been having fun learning the camera and taking high quality photo's. Well I'm pretty bummed out right now cause I just noticed something that is appearing on most of my pictures, seems like the darker the colors in the picture are the more of these spots I can see. I'm not sure the terminology to explain what they are, but I would call them spots or hickeys. At first I thought it was my monitor, so to make sure I zoomed in on a photo and the spots/hickey follow with the image and didn't remain stationary would proves its not my monitor but in fact something on the photo.
I dunno if its just dust or if something is wrong with the camera but I figured this would be the best place to find out what it is and possibly how to fix it so I don't have to try and get my money back for this lovely camera.
#1. "RE: New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians - hopefully we can be of assistance.
It sounds as if you have dust particles on the sensor of your camera. This can be easily verified by taking a picture of blue sky with your lens aperture set to around f/11 or f/16. Your camera won't want to focus well on a pure blue sky so acquire focus using a cloud or other very distant target, hold the shutter halfway down to lock the focus, and re-compose for a predominant sky picture.
When you look at the image on your computer you'll be able to see the dark soft edged circular spots if you do indeed have dust on the sensor. Try viewing at 50% or greater to make them more apparent.
Your camera has a feature to clean the sensor - I believe it will be in the Set Up portion of your menus. Run this feature and try the sky shot again.
If this does not eliminate the dust problem you may need to clean the sensor or have it done by a tech.
Many shooters clean their own sensors. Its not hard but does require special implements and attention to detail and procedure. Alternatively, you can have a local camera service do it for you. Any good camera repair service can easily and quickly do it and it usually does not cost a great deal.
You can learn more about cleaning sensors with a quick Google search such as: 'cleaning DSLR sensors'
Hope this helps and good luck to you. Keep us posted.
#2. "RE: New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?" In response to Reply # 0 Sat 13-Nov-10 01:34 PM by elec164
Hello Trevor, welcome to Nikonians.
It is hard to say exactly what your issue may or may not be without the proper terminology given the size of the images you provided.
But I noticed that you shot all these images at 800 ISO. So my guess is that what you may be experiencing is noise and/or hot pixels.
In digital imaging you have a certain constant amount of noise. Generally (especially at base ISO) it is not a problem because the signal is greater than the noise level. In shadow areas or underexposed images (which are samples of which you provided) the noise floor will become more apparent. Nothing wrong there, just the way digital imaging works.
In the leaf picture I also see possible evidence of hot pixels. A hot pixel is an artifact due to the fact that not all sensels react equally to the same light level. This is also a fact of life in digital imaging. It can easily be dealt with in PP by cloning or a healing brush.
For instance I just picked up a D7000 and discovered it has a stuck sensel ( a sensor site that always reads at a constant high or full output) almost dead center of the image. I am going to report this to Nikon service just to have it documented should any more serious issues arise later. I could send it in to have it mapped out but prefer not to at this time.
Here are the examples if you wish to see what a stuck sensel looks like.
100% crop The white speck just under her eye is the spot.
What it looks like while Pixel Peeping
Perhaps if you crop out a portion of the offending area to show a 100% view (actual pixels) we may be able to better refine our answers to help you.
Also generally speaking when viewing images at 100% view on a monitor is like looking at a poster from about 18 inches. You may see a lot of things on screen at that view that really would not be apperant or a problem when making and viewing say an 8x10 print. Bottom line, I think your camera is fine and working as it should be.
#3. "RE: New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?" In response to Reply # 2
Thank you all for your feedback and help. It is much appreciated! I hope that it is dust. The self cleaning feature has been set to clean on each on/off sequence from the previous owner.
I'm still trying to understand and learn everything you all are talking about lol. I'm new to this and photography, so please bear with me. I have to do a lot of googling on some of these words. haha. But I did a 100% crop of the original sized leaf picture as it had the most of the grain/spots/hickey/artifact. (hopefully one of those is accurate)
I have the file size on the camera set to "Small" cause I only have a 1gb memory card currently, so it's originally only 1936x1296. If I need to take a "Large" photo to better help you all, help me, then just let me know. Here is the 100% crop.
#4. "RE: New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?" In response to Reply # 3
Thanks for the 100% crop. It is my educated opinion that they are indeed hot pixels. Hot pixels will usually show up as red, green or blue spots but sometimes also white. And they often take on the shape of a cross because of the Bayer filter array and the need for interpolation to arrive at full color rendition. The fact that they are not exact cross shapes could be due to the fact that you have the resolution set to small. What happens is the original full resolution capture is down-sampled when processed into an in camera JPEG and part of the shape will be eliminated in the down sizing.
Also hot pixels will become more apparent as you raise the ISO settings. Have you tried using base ISO to see if they're still as apparent? Again I feel there is nothing wrong with the camera, its just life in digital photography.
By the way I really liked image 0160.jpg. The lighting and simplicity of the image was superb in my opinion.
#5. "RE: New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?" In response to Reply # 4
I passed right over the images referenced in the the opening post - must pay closer attention
I agree with you regarding the hot/stuck pixel. Probably won't be an issue under normal shooting conditions.
While there is much made about hot pixels in some fora I believe its simply an aspect of current digital technology. I don't worry about it unless it becomes a consistent problem for my own particular shooting scenarios.
I will confess to be driven nearly mad by a stuck pixel on the LCD of a D40 I owned and had Nikon repair the camera.
#6. "RE: New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?" In response to Reply # 5
Thanks again! And I agree, I think it's due to the hot pixel thing. Is there anything I can do to avoid them? As far as settings? Or is it inevitable in low light pictures without flash? Is the only real option to eliminate them is through a photo editing program?
#7. "RE: New Nikon D3000 owner, been happy until recent discovery. Help?" In response to Reply # 6
Hot pixels are easily dealt with in most editors. For instance Photoshop has a clone tool and a healing brush that will fix them quickly.
As for what you can do, at times not much. But there is a technique you can use in low-key images called ETTR (expose to the right). For instance in the leaf image there is no information in the right half of the histogram. In that case you can intentionally overexpose, pushing the histogram to the right without causing clipping, then later in post processing you lower the tones back down there by creating a superior image then if you got it right in the camera to begin with. Sensors are for the most part linear capture devices and half the information available is in the right fifth of the graph. By employing ETTR you are maximizing the DNR (dynamic range) capability of the sensor and minimizing the SNR (signal to noise ratio). That allows you to get cleaner shadows without noise and could help eliminate hot pixels for the signal will be strong enough to overcome differences in sensel abilities.
Also as far as ISO, you should use the lowest ISO possible to get the shot you want. Raising the ISO in general makes noise more apparent and lowers DNR. It will also accentuate the appearance of hot pixels. Although in the watch photo I liked, the slight amount of noise is part of what made the image appealing to me. Its really a creative call, and thats why it to me is really art.